Collections Highlight: Companion to “The Flora of Forfarshire”

William Gardiner. “A selection of the native plants of Forfarshire; to accompany ‘The flora of Forfarshire'”. Paper. 45 cm X 29 cm. Life Science Library. University of Texas Libraries

William Gardiner (1808-1852) typifies the self-taught scientists who made substantial contributions to botany and natural history studies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Pursuing botany as an avocation while employed as an umbrella-maker, he later published Twenty Lessons on British Mosses (1846) and The Flora of Forfarshire (1848).

“A selection of the native plants of Forfarshire; to accompany ‘The flora of Forfarshire'”

The Flora was supported by subscribers and accompanied by a hand-written, bound volume of plant specimens, A selection of the native plants of Forfarshire; to accompany The Flora of Forfarshire.

This volume is part of the collections of the Life Science Library, the botany collections of which support and complement the research and collections of the Plant Resources Center.

Future Tense

PCL

As many know, Fred Heath announced his retirement from his position as Vice Provost and Director of the University of Texas Libraries last spring. After over 30 years of work in library administration and 10 years at UT Libraries, we will say goodbye to Dr. Heath on August 31.

Contemplating the future of libraries, specifically our UT Libraries, has been a big part of Dr. Heath’s job.

In honor of Fred’s retirement, the University Federal Credit Union is making a gift to establish the Fred and Jean Heath Libraries Tomorrow Fund.  This endowment will provide funds to address future unknown needs and enhancements of the University of Texas Libraries.

The Libraries Tomorrow Fund is also an alternative for donors who want to support the Libraries, but who are not ready to make an investment of $25,000 or more. This fund allows donors to establish an endowment over a timeframe that is convenient for them. This is a unique opportunity for a donor to have an immediate impact without fully funding an endowment until they are able to.

The best part is that the University Federal Credit Union has pledged to match gifts up to $25,000, which means that your gift today will be doubled and have an even greater impact.

Any gift contributed to the Libraries Tomorrow Fund will help the UT Libraries of the future today.

Give today and plan for tomorrow.

Interview: James Galloway on The Servant Girl Murders

Author James Galloway — also a library specialist at the Mallet Chemistry Library — was recently consulted by the PBS investigative television program “History Detectives: Special Investigations” in the production of an episode on a series of unsolved murders that occurred in Austin in the mid-nineteenth century. Galloway’s 2010 book, The Servant Girl Murders: Austin, Texas 1885, provided background for the program, having been drawn from his research utilizing the wealth of historical materials inhabiting special collections across the Austin area, including those at The University of Texas at Austin.

Galloway was took some time to talk with us about how the book came to be.

What got you interested in the murders? 

James R. Galloway: I took a history class — Methods in Historical Research — when I was finishing grad school here at The University of Texas in 1996 that focused on local history resources and collections. I was trying to come up with a topic for a research paper and I remembered this local legend about a serial killer from the nineteenth century in Austin.  I did some digging around and as far as I could tell no one else had done research on the topic. I thought it would make a good research paper and started looking into it.

What compelled you to write the book?

JRG: After I finished grad school, I was still interested in the story, I had barely scratched the surface of the primary sources I could find and I had no idea what had ultimately happened with the murders and I wanted to continue to investigate them in my spare time.

Where did you discover information about the events, and how long did you work to research the book?

JRG: The story of the murders was told in the newspapers from the time period; they were the primary source for the “story” and I ended up reading through a few years worth of microfilmed newspapers to find the beginning, where and when they started, and where the finally ended.  But there were a lot of loose ends, Continue reading